March 26, 2009--Citing contributions to the development of the robot-driven laser welding system RobScan, which won last year's Innovation Award Laser Technology 2008 prize, Daimler AGhas honored Trumpf (Ditzingen, Germany) with its Key Supplier Award in the Innovation category.
The RobScan (robot-guided remote scanner) process was developed for vehicle body construction. The system integrates programmable focusing optics and scanner optics into a robotic arm. Mirrors quickly position the laser beam on each area within the processing field, so that spots and seams can be welded without repositioning of the workpiece or the focusing optics. In contrast to conventional welding methods, RobScan permits higher welding speeds with a better weld seam quality. At the same time, the procedure reduces flange widths and, therefore, also the weight of the components.
In May 2008, the RobScan project team won the 10,000 Euro Innovation Award Laser Technology 2008 prize from the association Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e.V. and the European Laser Institute (ELI). The award honors an individual researcher or an entire project group whose exceptional skills and dedicated work have led to an outstanding innovation in the field of laser technology.
According to a report in Industrial Laser Solutions, "the innovation of the RobScan system is the combination of different hardware components and the Daimler-developed process technology and control software. It uses the known advantages of laser welding and extends them with new possibilities in process technology and a new control system to utilize all the possibilities of the remote scanner.
"The RobScan process combines the high speed and precision of scanner optics with the flexibility of a robot. The commercial value to the automotive industry has been convincingly demonstrated. The technological impact includes reduced manufacturing costs for body-in-white production; improved quality by better welding results, reduced flange width, and increased stiffness; decrease in cycle time by welding on the fly; improved quality assurance by use of a 100% online quality control system; and flexibility in production."
Trumpf says that its TruDisk Series disk lasers are at the heart of RobScan. Using this technology, several robots are connected to a beam source via the Trumpf LaserNetwork and powered using laser light cables. This, says Trumpf , facilitates high laser capacity.
"We have found the ideal partner in Trumpf with the development of RobScan. Because for both companies, innovation is not only a word, but part of our corporate culture," said Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler board member responsible for corporate research and Mercedes Benz car development.